Ahem… Fed up clearing your throat? Can’t get rid of coughing?

After licensed practicing for 20+ years and having contributed to clinical research for high-risk ailments like COPD, bronchitis, etc., I have gained thorough medical understanding and practical knowledge of diagnosis and treatment of various health problems scoping from serious diseases to common ones such as coughing.

Get complete understanding of how coughing occurs and could aggravate to a serious condition if not taken care of. By the end of this informative read, you should be able to find a downright solution for your cough.

What is Coughing?

While people experience coughing from time to time, it’s considered normal when you cough at an occasional instance. Nevertheless, a bloody or discolored mucus expelled during a persistent cough of several weeks is a sure signal to be medically cautious. It could be an underlying health problem requiring immediate medical attention.

But, why do we cough anyway?

Well, when your throat and airways are inhibited by irritants, your body responds via coughing. According to expert medical site Mayo Clinic, the brain receives cough impulse from the affected throat and airway nerves stimulated by irritants. The brain then signals back to abdomen and chest walls. This signal is to expel the irritants from the body through a forceful push of air to the lungs.

Long spells of vigorous coughing is observed to cause sleep problems, excessive exhaustion, urinary incontinence, headache, and even rib pain. The reason for this is the powerful push of air reaching up to “500 mph” through the closely structured vocal cords that coughing triggers.

Know that coughing is your body’s response to correct something that is going against or impeding your natural body system. Therefore, it’s significant to determine the underlying issue and what you can do to treat it.

How to Treat Coughing Naturally?

As a usual scenario, our first medical response to health problems such as coughing is relying on over-the-counter medications.

Yes, those instant, fast relief options do get results sometimes, however, one cannot turn a blind eye to the lasting and effective solutions that natural remedies provide.

With immature immune systems and inattentive personal health habits, children are often found suffering from cough and cold. Nonetheless, there’s always a natural solution! Check out these robust home remedies to treat coughing thoroughly.

For children:

  • Add moisture to the air your child breathes to ease or control his coughing. How to do that? Allow a hot shower to run in your bathroom for 10-12 minutes with the door shut, of course. While there are many ways to moist the air, using a cool-mist humidifier is probably the easiest.
  • Thickening of mucus can aggravate coughing. Give your child enough hot liquids to drink so that the mucus doesn’t get stiffened. This will also help to relieve throat soreness.
  • Cool air helps in treating dry cough. Surprised? It’s true. Allow some cool, fresh air into your child’s room or get him a short distance walk outside. You could also let your child enjoy a cool drive in your car with the windows open.

For adults:

  • Continuing with hot liquids, herbal teas like peppermint and thyme are good alternatives compared to black teas.
  • To make it even better, you can add honey to hot liquids or other drinks like lemon juice.
  • Besides honey, a rarely eaten food called licorice can also help to ease coughing and soothe throat inflammation.
  • Onion is known to be the best natural anti-inflammatory and antihistamine because of its quercetin content according to the studies of University of Maryland Medical Center. Create your own unprocessed cough suppressant by adding honey to cut red onions and allowing the mixture to rest for 12 hours.
  • While lemon can relieve an irritated throat, ginger can help with decongestion. It’s a good bet to use both natural treatments against cough.

In order to find the right treatment for your specific cough, it is vital to have knowledge about the different types of coughs.

Are there Different Types of Cough?

Yes. All coughs sound different, and listening to your cough closely will help to find out the exact type and subsequent appropriate treatment.

On a general basis, cough is divided into four types:

  • Wet cough: Sometimes, this cough could be a sign of serious diseases such as pneumonia or bronchitis. However, it commonly occurs after catching an average cold. A clear sign of this type is a running nose and throat.
  • Whooping cough: Prevented with the help of a vaccine, this kind of cough can put children at risk as it is contagious. It leaves the patient gasping sharply following a long bout of coughing.
  • Dry cough: This is a common one which does not produce mucus and is triggered by smoke, dust, and other atmospheric irritants.
  • Croup cough: Getting worse as the sun sets down, this type is accompanied with loud barking sound. It could verily be caused due to a viral infection.

Ignoring what your body is trying to tell is simply a sign of carelessness. You don’t want to let your cough take a severe toll later by allowing it to aggravate further. There have been cases where some patients didn’t take their persisting cough seriously and were later diagnosed with multi-drug tuberculosis (MDR-TB) or even cases of typhoid leading to severe constipation and coughs due to untimely treatment.

This could be referred to a recent update published in a version of DNA (Daily News and Analysis) online news portal where a veteran doctor had fallen prey to Extremely Drug-Resistant TB (XXDR-TB). While constant exposure to TB patients was a major reason for contracting the disease, his negligence towards the symptoms, refusal to medications, addiction, and sloppiness in maintaining health also contributed equally.

After knowing this, you’d want to take your coughing seriously. Any cough persisting even after the normal range of 3 weeks should be diagnosed immediately. So from here on, remember to make it at your doctor’s office before it gets too late.

Featured photo credit: Kristian Bjornard via flickr.com

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